Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 King of the Hill Movie Challenge

Clueless vs. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

I'm playing catch-up right now as I cover grounds for a practical marathon of movies last week.  For now, I'm pitting the movies one at a time against each other.  This time, I'll be putting the 1990's comedy, Clueless, against the 1950's comedy, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  Can classic Marilyn Monroe fair against Alicia Silverstone for the top movie of the month?  Let's find out.

For those who do not know, the 2012 King of the Hill Movie Challenge is my system for determining the best movie of year that I saw. One movie from each month will be selected and, at the end of the year, I will do a tournament style showdown where they will take each other on until the final movie has been selected. Bracket placement will be determined by the number of movies the monthly movie faced and won.

Challenger:  Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Director:  Howard Harks

Writer:  Charles Lederer

Staring:  Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, and Charles Coburn

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a movie about a seemingly ditzy burlesque dancer, Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe) and her close friend Dorothy (Jane Russell) on their cruise across the Atlantic to France.  Lorelei, is engaged to be married, but has a fondness for playing around with gentlemen with money.  Dorothy has been assigned to keep an eye on her friend.  At the same time, Lorelei's father has hired a private investigator to keep tabs on Lorelei.

The first thing about this story that catches my interest is that despite being almost 60 years old, the story isn't something I recall being rehashed into the ground by future movies.  The plot, is still fairly formulaic, but nothing that detracts from the story.  The characters of Lorelei and Dorothy have a bit of depth to them, though I found the love interests, nothing more than stereo types with a lack of any significant depth.

This is honestly a tough call.  On the level of plot, the two movies are equally entertaining and developed.  When it comes to characters, Clueless wins out in the end.  But Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is almost 60 years old and has aged very well.  This brings the two movies to a near dead even position.  There is one final thing that Gentlemen Prefer Blondes offers:  music.  The movie has several musical pieces including the famous piece, Diamond's Are a Girl's Best Friend.  This allows the movie to just squeak on by.

Winner:  Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

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